It's date night, and thanks to the area's robust restaurant scene, scheduling a romantic, casual or fun-filled rendezvous close to home is easy. The biggest challenge may be whittling down the list from the smorgasbord of options available. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails
Charm and history are as much a draw at this Crabapple eatery as the food. Dining areas include a front porch to a deck, as well as two main rooms that were part of the original cabin built by owner John Broadwell back when the street named for him was a dusty trail.
The Broadwell room is a particularly cozy spot with just three tables and a fireplace. Nearby is the Mayfield room with another original fireplace and seats for 24. On the side deck overlooking an expansive lawn edged with trees, you can watch the sun go down, then dine under the stars. In warmer weather, diners who want to take their date back to nature can call ahead and arrange to have a table for two set up in the 1-acre garden behind the restaurant.
Milton's seasonal menu is heavily influenced by produce from that garden, including more than 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Pair a just-picked plate of greens with filet, lobster and asparagus risotto, a pepper-crusted New York strip, or shrimp and grits.
800 Mayfield Road, Milton. 770-817-0161. miltonscuisine.com
C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar
If it's true that oysters spark romantic tendencies, then this Cobb restaurant may be just the place to take the one you want to win over. Along with dark-paneled walls and linen-topped tables, this chic eatery sports a 35-foot mahogany bar with a selection of raw seafood delicacies, including oysters from both coasts. Start off with few raw ones, or opt for the Rockefeller or broiled versions. Then ask to be seated in the cozy booth tucked into the front corner and indulge in steamed sea bass or Parmesan-crusted flounder.
A live jazz duo plays on Thursday nights, and with the Cobb Energy Center just up the street, it's an ideal spot to pair with a show.
3240 Cobb Parkway, Vinings. 770-272-0999. candsoysterbar.com
Plan a date night that's all around exploring, tasting and learning about wines at this Roswell restaurant where more than 350 selections are waiting to be uncorked. At least two dozen are offered by the glass, inviting guests to mix and match. That list rotates frequently and usually includes champagnes and selections from boutique wineries that are rarely featured as individual pours.
The from-scratch, seasonal kitchen turns out a daily pasta and seafood entree, but there's also a lineup of small plates for those who just want a bite with their beverage.
The most romantic seats in the house are on one of the outdoor couches that sidle up to a fire pit. Their patio area accommodates about 80 and often fills up in time for the live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
25 Plum Tree St., Roswell, 770-628-0411. vin25.com
Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
Looking for a date that might make you feel like a kid again? Climb into one of the go-karts at this gaming center and challenge your date to a few fast spins around the indoor track, or get even cozier in one of the double-seaters.
After you've worked up an appetite, you won't have to go far to find fine food. A new menu designed by corporate executive chef Anna Firmani has expanded to include several upscale dishes, including a fall-off-the-bone osso bucco, slow-cooked wings with 14 seasonings, pulled pork, and pastas and breads made on the premises. The casual menu of burgers and pizzas is still in place, expanded to include gluten-free options as well.
11000 Alpharetta Hwy., Roswell. 770-992-5688. andrettikarting.com
This perennial winner of Taste of Alpharetta honors is best known for its chicken salad and chocolate brownie. Chef Michael Field makes all his own bread — as many as 300 loaves per day — so the kitchen shuts down when it runs out.
Start off with a salad of seasonal ingredients, topped with Scottish salmon or the fish du jour and dressings on the side. Select a daily soup and pair it with the classic chicken salad, made from Springer Mountain birds, or a gourmet sandwich. Save room for Field's fantastic dark chocolate, three-layer brownie with peanut butter and peanut butter caramel, or a cranberry oatmeal or thumbprint sugar cookie.
It may take a little pre-planning, but by ordering a variety of items ahead of time, couples can pick up a bounty of dishes perfect for a picnic beside the Roswell Mill or a night at Chastain Park.
5815 Windward Pkwy., Alpharetta. 678-822-9453. wildflouratlanta.com
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